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Brakes applied to WA vehicle sales

CAR sales in Western Australia appear to be slowing, after the state’s industry recorded the second month in a row of single digit growth – 7.4 per cent for June compared with the same period last year. Almost 60,000 new vehicles have been sold in WA this calendar year, with 11,995 changing hands last month. While the year-to-date figures still appear strong at 11.7 per cent for the first six months of the calendar year, the June numbers repeat those from May and appear to show a slowing trend that started in March, with a brief interruption in April. The figures follow an enormous 2006, with 110,661 vehicles sold during the past year, a rise from 100,595 the previous year and in contrast to most other states where sales went backwards year-on-year. That growth continued in WA into 2007, with January and February recording more than 17 per cent growth. WA’s monthly growth in June was below that recorded in most other states and territories, notably the major markets of NSW and Victoria, putting WA in front of South Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania. On a year-to-date basis, WA remains in second place behind the ACT on 14.9 per cent. Toyota remains the dominant force in WA car sales with 13,618 new vehicle sales for the year-to-date, followed by Holden (8,626) and then Ford (5,507). Hyundai has slumped to 4,389 new vehicles sales compared with the same time last year when it was breathing down Ford’s neck at 5,246. Closing in on Hyundai are Nissan (4,307) and Mitsubishi (4,136), which have both improved their positions from last year, while Mazda (3,988) and Honda (3,347) have also made significant gains. At the luxury end of the new-car market, 839 Mercedes-Benz vehicles have been sold and 720 BMWs, both up substantially on last year at the same time. Mark Pownall

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